Heroes and Pilgrims: An Autoethnographic exploration of adventure motorcycle travel

Wragg, Jason orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1984-142X (2022) Heroes and Pilgrims: An Autoethnographic exploration of adventure motorcycle travel. Zeitschrift für Tourismuswissenschaft . ISSN 1867-9501

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/tw-2022-0015


This paper sets out to illuminate the lived experience of the adventure motorcyclist during a multi-day trip across the Sarn Helen, a stretch of Roman road that makes up part of the Trans European Trail in Wales, which is now a rough unpaved rural road. The accompanying text first discusses Autoethnography and how creating comics can be used in research. This is followed by an autoethnographic account of the journey, presented as a short comic, and a discussion of my changing philosophical stance which gives meaning to the experience.

Unpaved roads provide a “Heterotopia”, a liminal space that allows for the meaning making of experiences and the negotiation and renegotiation of identities of self. This work draws upon an Autoethnographic methodology to explore the lived experience of adventure motorcycling and utilises the creation of comics as a form of analysis and presentation of data.

Through the application of the Hero’s and Pilgrim’s lens or viewpoint this autoethnographic work highlights how adventurous journeys through heterotopic spaces can provide an ighlyn of identity, sense making, as well as demonstrating both the outward physical journey and the internal emotional journey undertaken.

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